Disaster supplies remain

Despite terror warnings, stores still stocked


— When Ty Stewart heard on the news that federal officials were recommending Americans stock up on duct tape and plastic sheeting, he couldn't help but think that could be good for business.

The assistant manager at Ace Hardware had come to work Wednesday anticipating the store would sell an above-average amount of duct tape, but he said sales have remained normal and the store is not even close to selling out.

"We have seen very little effect," Stewart said. "We have enough duct tape to do everyone's house in town."

Stewart was not the only hardware store manager in the city that said sales have not increased despite reports nationwide of hardware stores running out of disaster supplies.

On Friday, the government raised the nation's terror alert from yellow to orange, the second highest level.

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security recommended to stockpile a three-day supply of food and water. It also recommended citizens have duct tape and plastic sheeting on hand and ready to seal windows and doors with in the event of a chemical or biological terror attack.

But Steamboat has not seen the run on emergency disaster supplies that metro areas around the country have seen.

"I think they are dealing with it a little bit more where there might be an attack of chemical warfare," Stewart said.

Manager Doug Post at True Value said he has not heard of anyone coming in to prepare for terrorist attacks. And Post said he is not sure how effective the duct tape and plastic sheeting would be.

"I don't know what to think," Post said. "Some people tell you it is not going to do any good."

Even if homeowners could seal up windows and doors, Post said, particles from a chemical or biological attack could still seep through roofs or vents.

Post said it is just a coincidence that True Value has a sale on plastic sheeting. And over at BMC West Building Materials, Assistant Manager Rod Wille said it was another coincidence that they have a large stock of duct tape on the floor.

But Wille said a customer has yet to buy duct tape by the case, even at a discounted price.


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